Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Have Mardi Gras beads...will travel!

Packing for five to go three different places isn't what I'd call fun! We are a very close-knit family, so separating us all isn't my favorite thing to do! But a great friend of ours and her aunt were having a special birthday party out in New Mexico, so who were we to not join in the fun?!?

Thankfully, we are blessed to have some amazing friends who were so wonderful to step in and help with the girls. Sooo, once everything was planned, it was time to put them into motion...getting the house/laundry, meals taken care of, making sure that everyone (including pets!) were taken care of, and lots and lots and lots of packing...tucking notes, gifts and surprises into various, hidden places was the name of the game! Ughh...I thought I'd never get it all done! And yes, I did forget some key elements out of my own suitcase, but "just buying it when you get there!" always seems to work! And um...the fish...I didn't remember to make provisions for Bluey until we were flyin' high in the sky! (He was fine when we returned!)

So we were ready to take off! We dropped off two, picked up one, dropped off one more, and then Craig, Ricci and myself were off! Saying goodbye to the girls is always by far the most difficult part for me...but they were all quite excited to be staying at their friends' digs! Yes, I HATE saying goodbye...and I can never make eye contact with anyone on the first leg of any plane trip...for fear of everyone seeing me cry like a little girl. Then, of course, as I board the second flight, I'm good to go! I guess by the time it takes me to realize that I'm boarding a second flight somewhere, my subconsciousness has come to the realization that "I'm not in charge; He is; they'll be okay!" And after that first drink, I'm great...funny part is that my 'drink' is nothing more than a tomato juice on ice! tastes so much better flying at 30,000 feet!

After we landed, we thankfully collected all of our luggage, got our rental car (which for some reason they upgraded us to a nicer SUV...don't remember what it was exactly!) and headed off into the sunset! Awww...sunsets out west are so beautiful!

As for our first destination...don't forget who we had with us...Miss Craig (not feeling her tippy-top self!) saw that Walgreen's off in the distance! So we did make a pitstop and then drove up into the hillside of the Sandia Mountains where the party would be held Saturday night. By this time, sweet Miss Craig had completely lost her voice! Ricci said that had to be her world's worst nightmare...someone that has a lot to say...someone that others want to hear what they have to say...someone who could barely whisper, "Oh, honey-child!" by this time! "Bless her heart!"

After unloading Craig's luggage with her family, helping with a little prep work on the Mardi Gras decorations and foods, we all drove back down into Albuquerque to the first of several parties! These peeps know how to celebrate! What a crowd it was...and what an honor it was to be included in that fun evening of great family stories of back home in Louisiana, lots of laughter and lots of yummy food!

The next morning (hmmm...I wish I could wake up every morning with two extra hours! I love that Mountain Time Zone!), we got up bright and early and did some driving around (getting lost if you ask me...hee hee!) before heading over to the birthday brunch where we were so graciously greeted by the family members that we knew and met even more wonderful friends and family. The brunch was delicious, and the gathering couldn't have been any more fun and special! As everyone was making plans on how they'd spend their day, Craig's hilarious cousin, Steve Jr., gave us a great hint about where to shop...he said that we had to visit Jackelope's, a great place... "like World Market on crack!" Boy, was he right! We loved was similar to an open World Market or our Southeastern Salvage, and we bought some great souvenirs for the kids and their friends, and even some special things for our annual Cinco de Mayo'll be here before you know it!

So after brunch, everyone went off in different directions. Ricci saw an REI in the distance, so we went their first, of course! Then we headed off for some sight-seeing and shopping. Everyone suggested that we visit Old Town Albuquerque which was a lot of was full of life with tourists, horse-drawn carriages, shopping, great restaurants, etc. "New Mexican" restaurants to be exact...which cracked Ricci and I up every time we heard someone say it. (At first we just thought the town was fun of new restaurants that were Mexican...nope...they are New Mexican restaurants!)

After a full day of acting like a tourist and just enjoying being with one another, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the big Mardi Gras birthday celebration! What fun it was! The food was amazing...different, yummy appetizers, jambalaya, gumbo and King Cake! Arra...please share some of those recipes with me! And none but Craig and her great-grand-daughter MaryBeth outlasted the Second Line Dance! She may not have had her voice back yet, but she wasn't droppin' out of the Second Line Dance!

The next morning we all enjoyed worshipping with Craig's family at her nephew's church; then we all said goodbye to one another as some had to rush back to the airport. Ricci and I took the afternoon to drive along Route 66, then up into the Sandia Mountains to the ski resort up there. The snow and views were amazingly spectacular! Then we headed on up to Santa Fe. The drives out there are just so beautiful! And the art and history...I look forward to learning more about the rich history out there along with taking the girls back there to see it all again!

The next morning we packed up and headed back over to get Miss Craig (who still had little to no voice!) before heading to the airport. The trip seemed to fly by...from beginning to end...and what fun it all was! On the way back through Dallas, we were able to have a quick bite to eat with Tara and her girls at the Grand Hyatt. Then after Miss Craig and I stepped through the wrong doors, poor Ricci came and helped us get back in through security...which stopped him! Now, I'm talkin...full body scan with some pretty impressive equipment that I've never seen! I'm just thankful that after they took digital images of his face and everything (we're laughing hysterically about this now, but then...not so funny!) security found a forgotten hotel key in his shirt pocket! Whew! So we were back in the air in no time and headed home!

We so appreciated getting to see everyone and celebrate such a special weekend with them! What a great time it was! And just as soon as we landed, L brought us our car and our AngelWings, and then we received a call that dinner was awaiting us all at the Steves! How blessed we are to have friends that love us like they do! What great care you showed to our little loved ones....the girls had a great time being with their friends and no harm came to them while we were away....except for Lovey, who was quoted saying, "No! No! Please don't make me sleep under a Georgia Bulldog blanket!"

Nan, all I have to say is "Come on over...Lovey's got a nice LSU blanket awaiting your next stay with us!"

1 comment:

Nekey said...

Sounds like a wonderful time!